I’ve participated in many a book club in my life. While the general proceedings of each book club meeting are almost always the same, the atmosphere, dare I say aura, of each has been splendidly unique. My book club experience has involved long-term gatherings, short-lived, one book only meetings, book selections based on a theme, random selections drawn from a hat, attendees of different ages, genders and backgrounds and ones that are more selective in who can attend (no boys allowed!). I’ve attended book clubs with serious, soul-searching discussions and ones that were purely light-hearted and frivolous. Despite the differences, all contained a common element – food – just kidding, but not really because every book club I’ve been a part of has had some sort of tasty treat present. In all seriousness, every book club I’ve been a part of always, always involved great fun, enjoyable fellowship, treasured knowledge-gaining, and broadened reading horizons thanks to stepping out of reading comfort zones. Yes, book clubs are events where people talk about a piece of literature, but, more importantly, they encourage community and celebrate the beauty of bonding over a shared experience in spite of similar or dissimilar thoughts and opinions on the matter.
Did you know the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped hosts two book clubs for our patrons? Each meets bi-monthly so it works out that there is a book club gathering every month. One book club meets every other month on the third Saturday at the CLP Downtown and Business library from 10:30am – 11:30am. The other club meets every other month on the third Thursday at LBPH from 1:00pm – 2:00pm.
Both clubs try and alternate between fiction and nonfiction while covering as many genres as possible. Besides questions and snippets from author interviews, what makes our book clubs a little more unique is that we always try to include at least one or preferably several tactile objects/elements pertaining to the story. Our swell form machine and 3D printer allow us to create pictures and maps and objects for participants to explore.
My favorite tactile object we’ve created thus far is a replica of a centuries old Jewish text known as a Haggadah which is featured in the book “The People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks. Complete with tea-stained pages to mimic aged parchment paper, our hand-crafted creation contains several pages with the five objects mentioned in the book which were discovered in the binding of the Haggadah itself. It’s always an exciting challenge thinking up new tactile experiences for our patrons.
If this blog post has succeeded in its intent to spark curiosity about our books clubs and you desire to find out more, please do not hesitate to call us (1-800-242-0586) and we will be happy to share more information and answer any questions. We would be thrilled to have you join us! Don’t miss out!